Spending time in contemplation at the beach in January, the beginning of winter in New England, is usually a solitary pursuit. There is the pounding of the surf and an occasional shore bird, but you are not likely to see another person on the beach. It is windy, and often cold and grey. When the sunlight gives way to blue skies, the seascape can be magnificent. The air is crisp and clear, and the colors are deep and saturated.
Following the path down to the beach, I wonder what treasures await me. Will there be a shell or stone that captures my interest? I like to comb the beach looking for small pieces of the shore to bring back home with me. Maybe several rocks and a shell or two will find their way into my pocket. Reaching into my pocket and turning my finds over in my hand brings me reassurance and roots me in this place.
The grounds of Mercy by the Sea (located here) offer ever changing views of the ocean and the beach. At this time of year, the sun is low in the sky and the shadows are long. The landscape has a somewhat ethereal quality, as if the trees could almost talk and share their knowing with me. I immerse myself in the silence and walk softly upon the sacred ground, letting myself feel the peacefulness of my surroundings.
I have once again joined a year long art journaling experience called Book of Days 2020 with Effy Wild, info is here. I have been taking online art journaling classes with Effy for many years and she is the best. I have been blocked and unmotivated the past few years, so I am making a concerted effort to participate in the class lessons. Watching all of the videos and showing up and meeting myself on the page is getting easier each week. Art journaling is becoming a practice again, something I used to have that got lost when life got overwhelming.
People generally use acrylic paint for art journaling, but the feathers lesson was taught with watercolors and I am experimenting with using watercolors in my other lessons. I used to paint in watercolors years ago, before I discovered art journaling, and they have a lightness and transparency that is unique to this medium. Acrylics are fun to use but they are heavy, mostly opaque, and not as fluid as watercolors.
Where do these steps lead? Could this be another path to new self discoveries? Last year I was contemplating change and renewal, see blog post here. Today, once again, I am thinking about where I have been, where I am now, and where I am going. Life is a continual process of change and growth.